Difference between Financial Audit and Management Audit

Running a business is a challenging endeavor. Audits are often understood to be examinations of a company's records, procedures, and software to ensure their accuracy, authenticity, and completeness. We still have the most pressing issue here. Some people hear "audit" and immediately think of a financial audit. However, there are several audit types, each of which serves a specific purpose.

Management audits, cost audits, internal audits, and efficiency audits are all instances of this type of audit. The processes by which they are carried out, and the results that are expected from them are different for each of these.

What is Financial Audit?

This type of audit is defined by an emphasis on inquiry and confirmation of the organization's financial activities, and it is performed by examining the financial records of the organization over a certain time period. Financial audits provide useful information for several parties, including shareholders, employees, investors, and the government (for tax purposes in particular).

A financial audit not only reveals the truth about the organization's financial performance but also helps uncover fraud and other errors in the accounting records. Furthermore, it guarantees that a company's accounting practices are in line with industry norms. Financial audits ensure that shareholders and investors make prudent choices that are good for the economy as a whole. Financial audits must also be conducted by a CPA, as this is mandated by law. It is important to note that limited businesses are mandated by law to conduct annual financial audits.

What is Management Audit?

An audit of operational processes examines a company's procedures to assess their efficiency and relevance. While a management audit is tailored to the specific needs of a business, it always includes an analysis of the organization's processes, procedures, and policies, as well as the offering of advice for improvement. It's also used to evaluate performance across all facets of operations and to prepare for the future.

Management audits cover a wide range of checks, including checks on procedures, employees, marketing, performance, systems, and audit deals. Audits in the areas of marketing and audit are two more types of audits. Management inside the company is responsible for carrying it through. Even though it is crucial for any business, a management audit is not required by law.

Differences − Financial Audit and Management Audit

Both focus on dissecting the workings of a company to find the weak spots and address them. The following table highlights how a Financial Audit is different from a Management Audit −

Characteristics Financial Audit Management Audit


The purpose of a financial audit is to examine and verify a company's financial affairs by reviewing its financial records over a certain time period. A financial audit is a name given to this specific type of audit.

The purpose of a management audit is to determine whether or not a company's or other organization's day-to-day operations are efficient and ethical.

Statutory/non statutory

An audit of financial records is required by law.

Management audits are not mandated by law.


In order to ensure that an organization's accounting principles are consistent with the established standards, to report the actual performance with regard to financial performance, and to provide an accurate picture of the organization's current economic position, a financial audit must be conducted.

A management audit is an assessment of the processes, procedures, and policies of an organization with the goals of finding areas for improvement, providing recommendations for moving forward, and gaining insight into the current state of affairs.

Party conducting the audit

To conduct an audit, businesses often hire independent chartered accountants to go through their books.

Every business has its own management team, and that team is generally responsible for conducting management audits.


An audit of the business's financial records is performed after the end of each fiscal year.

The business maintains a schedule for conducting management audits, and those audits are completed on time.


Management audits and finance audits serve separate but interdependent purposes for each business. Comparatively, financial audits focus on the investigation and confirmation of an organization's financial affairs through the analysis of financial records accumulated over a set time period, whereas management audits look at the efficiency and appropriateness of an organization's activities.

These audits are essential for a company to do in order to avoid any unethical actions or operations and to lessen the possibility of the organization making unethical business decisions.

Updated on: 15-Dec-2022

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